£200 Bal­lot Bin for butts could be out for the count

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View - By Molly Mile­hamChap­pell

The fu­ture of a quirky cig­a­rette bin, bought by the coun­cil for nearly £200, looks un­cer­tain.

The bright yel­low Bal­lot Bin was in­tro­duced in the town cen­tre last au­tumn but Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil has con­firmed that there are no solid plans in place for its use in the fu­ture.

It pro­vided smok­ers with two op­tions to ex­press their pref­er­ence for ei­ther The X Fac­tor or Strictly Come Danc­ing by drop­ping their cig­a­rette butt in ei­ther sec­tion.

But now nine months since its ini­tial – and only – ap­pear­ance in the bor­ough, there ap­pear to be no plans for the fu­ture use of the bin, which was bought by the coun­cil for £195.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “Last year the coun­cil pi­loted the use of a new style cig­a­rette bin called a Bal­lot Bin.

“It was tri­alled in Park Mall for sev­eral weeks to see how the pub­lic en­gaged with the bin’s vot­ing sys­tem where you choose one of two re­cep­ta­cles to dis­pose your cig­a­rette butt in.

“Af­ter the trial, the Bal­lot Bin was re­moved.

“We are cur­rently con­sid­er­ing where it could be used in fu­ture, for ex­am­ple at spe­cific events.”

The bin scheme was orig­i­nally launched in 2015 by the en­v­i­ron- men­tal char­ity Hub­bub Foun­da­tion as part of the Neat Streets cam­paign and was adopted by other coun­cils, in­clud­ing Swale.

Fol­low­ing the trial, the coun­cil called the Bal­lot Bin a “well sup­ported” scheme.

The cig­a­rette bin tied in with the coun­cil’s on­go­ing lit­ter crack­down, which in­cluded the in­tro­duc­tion of King­dom lit­ter war­dens, who were taken off the streets for ex­tra train­ing re­cently fol­low­ing a Panorama in­ves­ti­ga­tion about some of the pri­vate com­pany’s prac­tices.

In the first 10 work­ing days of the scheme, King­dom war­dens dished out 195 on-the-spot fines of £75 for al­legedly drop­ping rub­bish.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall Shop­ping Cen­tre Ash­ford, TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­group.co.uk

Pic­ture: Martin Apps FM4496732

Lit­ter war­dens

The cig­a­rette Bal­lot Bin in Park Mall

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